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The fate of Brexit remains uncertain, the U.S. goes after Chinese investments in American technology and Brunei’s new Islamic laws draw widespread criticism. Here’s the latest:
For the 1,000th time, what’s next for Brexit?
It seems Prime Minister Theresa May’s sacrificial promise to resign in exchange for support for her withdrawal plan has made little difference.
Parliament remains deadlocked. A third vote on her twice-rejected plan will take place in Parliament today, but a third rejection is entirely possible.
To add to the complications, none of the eight alternative Brexit plans that lawmakers voted on on Wednesday mustered a majority, setting the stage for yet more debates in Parliament on Monday to try to whittle down the list for a second round of voting.
Analysis: Mrs. May’s resignation offer was a surprising move for a woman who, over the last two years, has bounced back from crises with unflappable resolve. “The sight of this proud, rigid woman admitting that she could not finish the job, giving up her hopes of ever being remembered as anything but Brexit roadkill, was a somber one,” writes our London correspondent Ellen Barry.
The next prime minister: British bookmakers are already offering up odds on who they think will step up when Mrs. May steps down.
The U.S. wants to take a gay dating app out of Chinese hands
The Trump administration is pushing a Chinese firm, Beijing Kunlun, to relinquish its ownership of Grinder, over concerns that Beijing could use personal information on the U.S.-based app — like sexual orientation or dating habits — to blackmail or influence American officials.
This appears to be the first case in which the U.S. has asserted that foreign control of a social media app has national security implications.
How we know: People familiar with the matter told our national security reporter, David Sanger.
Why it matters: The case is the latest effort by the administration to tighten controls over China’s ability to gain access to critical and emerging American technology.
The broad push is driven by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which last year killed a merger between MoneyGram, a money transfer firm, and Ant Financial, a payments company related to Alibaba.
This heightened scrutiny runs in tandem with the administration’s campaign to block Huawei from building next-generation 5G networks around the world over concerns that it would give Beijing access to critical data.
Speaking of Huawei: A British review found “significant” security problems with the Chinese company’s telecommunications equipment that governments and independent hackers could exploit, posing risks to national security. But the report stopped short of banning the company’s equipment in the country.
U.S. sanctions trickle down to Iran’s network of allies
Hezbollah fighters directed by Iran to fight the Islamic State have missed paychecks. Promised funding and support to help Syria rebuild have failed to materialize.
The Trump administration says the punitive sanctions on Iran are working as they were meant to: undermining Iranian support for militant groups and political allies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Context: Iran has long used its patronage of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria, the Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and the Houthi rebels in Yemen to boost its influence and counter the powers of Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Caution: Analysts question whether the lack of Iranian support will change the behavior of these groups, which remain ideologically committed to Iran’s agenda and can promote it through local politics.
“When you try to push Iran out of the region by sanctioning it,” said one expert, “you are forcing it to get involved in the region even more.”
A massive iceberg is about to split off from Antarctica
Two rifts on the Brunt Ice Shelf, in West Antarctica, are close to calving, or breaking off, creating an iceberg over 560 square miles (1,450 square kilometers) in size — about twice the size of New York City.
The rifts were stable for 30 years, but in 2016, an image showed the two advancing toward each other. Scientists say the break could trigger the further retreat of the entire shelf. We’ve mapped the timeline of the split.
From the archives: In 2017, we published an in-depth look into the risk of Antarctica’s collapse due to global warming. Last year, we reported that the region was melting three times as fast as it was a decade earlier.
Here’s what else is happening
Facebook: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is suing the social media company for housing discrimination for allowing advertisers to restrict who can see housing ads based on characteristics like race, religion and national origin.
Lyft: The ride-hailing app — Uber’s main rival in North America — will make its market debut shortly in what could be the biggest I.P.O. so far this year. The company expects to be valued at as much as $24 billion, selling its shares between $70 to $72 a pop.
Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan introduced an ambitious plan to alleviate poverty, aiming to help the country’s poorest gain better access to health care, education and employment.
New Zealand: The country’s immigration agency said that registrations of interest to live and work there — the first step toward applying for a visa — had increased in the 10 days after this month’s mosque attacks, compared with the 10 days leading up to it. Much of the interest came from Americans and people in predominantly Muslim countries.
U.S. economy: The Commerce Department revised its estimate for growth this year to 3.0 percent, down slightly from 3.1 percent, presenting President Trump with a test of policies that he claims have so far boosted the economy.
Frogs: The first global analysis of a fungus that has been wiping out frogs for decades demonstrates that it is, in the words of one researcher, “the most deadly pathogen known to science.” It has caused major declines in more than 500 species of frogs around the world, and at least 90 are presumed to have gone extinct.
The N.C.A.A: Jack White moved from Australia to play basketball at Duke University in 2016 and has so far averaged 4.4 points in 21.5 minutes a game and has faced off with seven current or future N.B.A. lottery picks.
Salman Rushdie: In his first book review for The Times in almost two decades, the author vouches for “The Old Drift” by Namwali Serpell, a sweeping debut novel about the roots of modern Zambia. It ranges skillfully, he writes, “between historical and science fiction, shifting gears between political argument, psychological realism and rich fabulism.” (Mr. Rushdie’s last book review for The Times was of Thomas Pynchon’s “Vineland” in 1990.)
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
Recipe of the day: A pot of rich, lemony turmeric rice with tomatoes is supremely comforting.
Making yourself inaccessible from time to time is essential to limit distractions and boost focus.
Greening your coffee habit can help limit deforestation, shipping emissions and packaging.
Two American astronauts are making a spacewalk today, just not the two who would have made history.
[NASA’s website will have live coverage starting at 6:30 a.m. Eastern.]
One of the two, Christina Koch, was originally paired with Anne McClain for what was supposed to be the first all-female spacewalk. It was canceled after Ms. McClain found that the available spacesuit was a bit too roomy, a safety issue that raised questions of sexism.
That made us think about the media coverage of women in space. In 1963, the cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, 26, became the first, orbiting the Earth aboard the Vostok 6. She is now 82 and a member of Russia’s Parliament.
“Soviet Blonde Orbiting as First Woman in Space” was the headline in The New York Herald Tribune’s European edition, which reported: “Valentina — or Valya, by which she is known to her friends — seemed to wipe away the gloom of Moscow’s gray skies.”
Karen Zraick, a reporter, wrote today’s Back Story.
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